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Film / The Scribbler

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Suki: The elevator hates me. There's a lunatic loose on the stairs. I'm never gonna make it out of this building alive, am I?
Hogan: Probably not.
Suki: Fantastic.

The Scribbler is a 2014 Science Fiction/Dark Comedy Thriller, written by Dan Schaffer (adapting his own graphic novel), directed by John Suits, and starring Katie Cassidy, Garret Dillahunt, Eliza Dushku, Michael Imperioli, Michelle Trachtenberg, Sasha Grey and Billy Campbell.

Suki (Cassidy) has suffered for years with multiple-personality disorder, one of which (the titular "Scribbler") compulsively writes in backward-text. She comes under the care of Dr. Sinclair (Campbell), whose radical "Siamese Burn" electroshock therapy systematically removes the excess personalities. But when Suki is transferred to a dilapidated apartment complex-turned-halfway house, a series of patient suicides begin. Is Suki (or one of her personalities) the murderer?

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  • Arc Words: "Unzip your head."
  • Battle in the Rain: The climactic fight between Suki and Alice.
  • Black Box: The Siamese Burn unit. Evolves into Low Culture, High Tech as, during her treatment-induced fugue states, Suki uses it to build an Imported Alien Phlebotinum device using purloined scrap electronics.
  • Bourgeois Bohemian: Cleo. She dresses in hippie/gypsy garb, her speech tends towards Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness, and she doesn't go anywhere without her pet boa constrictor draped around her shoulders.
  • The Cameo: Sasha Grey as a bunny-eared mental patient.
  • The Casanova: Hogan.
    Every henhouse needs a rooster...This place is full of girls with daddy issues, and I've got the penthouse suite.
  • Destination Defenestration: The deaths weren't suicides, but murders courtesy of Alice/Veronica. She later hurls Suki out the window. Luckily, Suki's Wall Crawl powers save her.
  • Driven to Suicide: Subverted.
  • Driving Question: Is Suki — or The Scribbler, as she insists — the person behind the apparent suicides?
  • Dull Surprise: Suki arrives at Juniper Towers just as a suicide victim crashes to the pavement at her feet, splashing her with blood. She barely blinks. Much later, she looks in the mirror and sees the blood - cue Vomit Indiscretion Shot.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: What a panicky Suki grabs when Dr. Sinclair goes to investigate the noises coming from Suki's bedroom - the result of hooking the bulldog up to the modified Siamese Burn unit. After he leaves, both she and Hogan arm themselves with frying pans to investigate further.
  • Glowing Eyes: A side effect of the modified Siamese Burn unit.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Silk and Moss - more precisely, "good police psychologist/bad cop." Moss certainly exhibits all the negative characteristics of the trope.
  • How We Got Here: The film opens with Silk arriving at Juniper Towers, surveying the crime scene, then interrogating Suki with partner Moss. Suki's testimony, shown in flashback, then tells the story.
  • In-Series Nickname: Juniper Towers is dubbed "Jumper Towers," to the extent that someone spray-painted the nickname onto the complex's front-yard sign.
  • Leotard of Power: After waking up in the street from another blackout dressed in nothing but her skivvies, Suki breaks into an abandoned costume shop and steals a skeleton leotard. By film's end, it has achieved Superheroes Wear Tights status.
  • Levitating Lotus Position: Hogan, after sampling the Siamese Burn. Complete with Power Glows effect.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Hogan, In-Universe. Not only does he have many shirtless scenes, but as the only guy in an otherwise all-female halfway house, he's more than happy to sexually service his fellow inmates. Suki's nymphomaniac personality takes advantage of this.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Fellow halfway-house resident Emily is pretty much buck-naked the entire time she's on-screen. Her final appearance before dying has her wearing a dress.
    • Suki as well, when her nymphomanical personality takes over and she gets her freak on with Hogan.
    • Averted in the case of Bunny, played by ex-porn star Sasha Grey.
  • Oh, Crap!: Dr. Sinclair has been pursuing "Patient X," a/k/a Veronica, a murderous Siamese Burn patient who escaped from his care. When Suki see's Veronica's case file, she realises Patient X is actually Alice.
  • Only Sane Man: Hogan is a literal case. To take advantage of being the only guy in a facility occupied by many women starved for sex, he keeps up appearances by "attempting suicide" and considers faking multiple-personality disorder. He even asks Suki for tips.
  • Pretty in Mink: Suki encounters Cleo wearing a fur coat (over lingerie) on her way to a sex romp with Hogan. Suki considers the getup Head-Tiltingly Kinky:
    Cleo: You think he'll go for it?
    Suki: I think you could be wearing a gorilla suit and it'd still be a sure thing.
  • Room Full of Crazy: With The Scribbler around, every room eventually becomes this.
  • Snark Knight: Suki pretty much runs on sarcasm.
  • Shout-Out: Suki answers a phone call from Dr. Sinclair with a deadpan "Bates Motel..."
  • Skyward Scream: Suki delivers one after Alice/Veronica leaps to her death.
  • Smoking Hot Sex: After the sex scene between Suki and Hogan, her interrogators have a smoke, implying that Suki's narration to them may have been just as graphic.
  • Smoking Is Glamorous: Silk.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Inverted; Hogan is the only guy in Juniper Towers.
  • Talking Animal: At different points, Suki is convinced that both Alice's bulldog and the Juniper Towers elevator are speaking to her.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Suki, in Moss's eyes.
  • Wall Crawl: Per the movie poster, the modified Siamese Burn unit gives this power to Suki and Alice/Veronica.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Suki awakens from one Siamese Burn-induced blackout, only to be hassled by the Juniper Towers security guard. Cleo comes to her rescue and chases the guard off by draping her pet boa constrictor around him.